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Jazz guitarist Jim Hall dies at 83 years old

LOS ANGELES, United States--Influential jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who recorded with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Sonny Rollins in a career spanning over half a century, died Tuesday aged 83, media reports said.

Hall, who began as part of the West Coast jazz scene in the 1950s and had been active until shortly before his death, passed away in his sleep in New York, Jazz Times reported.

It described Hall, whose birthday was last week, as “prolific, adventurous and greatly admired,” saying he “changed the role of the guitar in jazz.” He died after a short illness, it said.

He was born in New York state into a musical family, and took up the guitar aged 10, studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music before moving to Los Angeles.

In the 1960s he moved to New York City, where one of his earliest shows was with drummer Chico Hamilton, who died last month.

He formed a trio with pianist Tommy Flanagan and bassist Ron Carter, and also worked on television, in the house band for The Merv Griffin Show.

He continued working into the new millennium, and was made a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2006.

His own website,, did not immediately announce his passing, but included details of a number of projects and recent events, including an appearance at New York's Lincoln Center last month.

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Guitarist Jim Hall, right, plays with Geoffrey Keezer on piano during the 50th annual Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California, Sept. 21, 2007. (AP)

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